April 2010

The Visit of Doctors John!
Visit of Dr John to the Ras Morbat Clinic in Aden, YemenAt the end of February, we welcomed the much anticipated visit of Dr John Sandford-Smith. John has been a loyal supporter of the clinic and has made annual visits over many years. On this occasion he brought along a younger colleague from the UK, Dr John Sharp. As a team they were a great help in the clinic: in addition to performing numerous operations and consultations they also provided training for the staff which was much appreciated. The two doctors also spent a week in Mocha, once famous for its coffee trade and now a forgotten corner of Yemen, where they performed numerous cataract operations. One lady had travelled across the Red Sea from Djibouti for an operation because she had heard that there were English doctors in town! We are always grateful for the time and support offered by visiting doctors and we hope to welcome the two Dr Johns back again in the future.

Promotional Film
At the beginning of January, British film-maker Harry Chapman joined us for a week to make a short film about the work at Christ Church. We had an enjoyable week touring the sights of Aden and introducing Harry to the various aspects of the ministry at Christ Church. The aim of the film is to give a feel for life in Aden as well as the work of the church and clinic. We were especially pleased that the film was ready at the beginning of February so that a preview could be shown at Diocesan Synod. The film can be viewed on the website, and DVDs are available for distribution. If you would like to receive a DVD please email us.

Catherine’s Ordination
Bishop Michael with Catherine and Nigel Dawkins at Christ Church, AdenOn 15th January, Bishop Michael ordained Catherine as a deacon. It was a moving service and we were pleased to be able to welcome members of the regular congregation as well as staff from the clinic and new friends from across Aden to the service. We celebrated in local style after the service, sharing lunch together. Since January Catherine has enjoyed getting more involved with the worship at Christ Church and looks forward to developing her ministry while based in Aden.

Farewell to the Poldervaarts
Although there have been many positive things so far this year there have also been various difficulties. In January there were two serious security incidents in Aden. Firstly, tensions between a local newspaper and police turned to violence, resulting in disruption across the city for a number of days. At the same time, we also heard of a potential threat to westerners and to the church itself.

The Poldervaarts - at Christ Church Aden in Yemen

The Poldervaarts

Following these two incidents, Stefan and Joke Poldervaart chose to return to Holland for an extended break, and subsequently have decided not to return to Yemen. Their departure is a great loss to Christ Church: Stefan and Joke were much valued colleagues and have contributed a huge amount to the ministry of the church during their time here. We fully understand their decision to remain in Holland and wish them all the best for the future. Please do hold the family in your prayers as they spend time discerning what the future holds for them.

Prayer Points

  • for the Poldervaarts: Stefan, Joke and their children as they settle back into life in Holland; as they spend time with friends and family; as they begin to make plans for the future
  • for the security situation in Yemen
  • for the work of visiting doctors, giving thanks

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